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Player to Manager - the next Sir Bobby


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#1 TheWand75

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Posted 09 November 2016 - 03:52 PM

THE WAITING GAME - July 2016

My football career ended at Wembley. 17th May 2014 to be precise. Being on the losing side in an FA Cup Final is not the way I wanted to end my career but that's football. My goal to put Hull 2-0 ahead will always stay with me but the Arsenal fight back was hard to take, we deserved more but after 120 minutes that was it, my playing days had ended.

My career had been everything I had wanted it to be. I was released by Manchester United when I was 16, I had been part of the youth team that featured Beckham, Butt, Neville and Scholes but was forgotten member of the Class of 92, one season short of becoming a United legend.


When I left United I didn't think I had a career but Dave Jones and Stockport County took a gamble on me, my first professional club and the late Danny Bergara my first manager. He hated me at first but eventually I won him over and my time at Edgeley Park was enjoyable. Even after Danny was sacked and Dave Jones took over I started to feel I could play at the top flight.


I made over 200 appearances for County over the next 6 years, including 2 trips to Wembley, although we lost both games. The 96/97 season was the highlight though, we got to the Semi Finals of the League Cup and won promotion to the Championship, in the summer Dave Jones moved to Southampton and wanted to take me too but the club couldn't agree a fee and I had to stay.

New manager Gary Megson made it very clear he didn't want me though and was desperate to sell me for decent money. I was amazed when I was told where I was going, in need of decent young English players I was off to Chelsea, Gianluca Vialli paying £2m for my services.

London was daunting but I tried me best, my football was good and on 11th February 1998 I made my debut for England, Glenn Hoddle handing me my first cap at Wembley against Chile. I was part of the squad that went to France that summer but only played a bit part in the tournament.

I was quite enjoying the London life but that all changed in September 1999, I was called to the managers office and he told me the club had accepted a bid of £4.5m for me, I spoke to my agent and travelled to North London Hotel, I walked into the hotel bar and was greeted by Sir Bobby Robson, "Welcome to the best football club in the world son".

My career with the Toon Army was a dream come true, I made 398 appearances, scored 30 goals and became a fans favourite, I settled down with my wife and kids and never wanted to leave before Mike Ashley and Alan Pardew forced me out of the club.

 

During my time I made some great friends, no more so than the Gaffer, Sir Bobby taught me so much and he ignited my fire to become a football manager.

I ended my career with spells at Huddersfield with my old mate Lee Clark, Blackpool and finally Hull.

CAREER STATS

Games: 978 (90 caps for England)
Goals: 121 (9 for England)
Honours: PFA Young Player of the Year: Winner 1999, PFA Team of the Year: Premier League x 4, League One x 1

After stopping playing I spend the next 2 year studying hard for my coaching badges, I was fast-tracked by the FA and UEFA after outstanding results. Now I am ready to be a Football Manager, my ambition to manage my beloved Newcastle United and emulate the career of my mentor and hero, the late, great Sir Bobby Robson.



#2 TheWand75

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Posted 09 November 2016 - 04:53 PM

A NEW YEAR TOFFEE - January 2017

The season began and I waited, I knew that opportunities would come but I was determined not to take the first job that came my way,

 

I managed to get some work with the BBC, my old mate Alan Shearer pulling some strings, I had the pleasure of watching Gary Lineker present the first MOTD in his pants.

 

I watched a lot of football, I still had my box at St James Park. Rafa had made a decent start but a couple of poor results away from home had cranked up the pressure.

 

By the end of October I was starting to get restless, I was even looking abroad for my first job. Preston, Blackburn and Wolves all parted company with their managers and my name was mentioned but my agent told me not to apply – wait for them to come to me.

 

So I waited and no job interview arrived.

 

Christmas arrived and I was booked in to do the Boxing Day MOTD with Alan, with my house being local he and his family came round for dinner whilst we went to Media City in Salford and watched the games, I was given Swansea v Everton as my main game.

 

New Everton boss Ronald Koeman was under huge pressure. Having spent a lot of money in the summer he found his team traveling to South Wales in 18th place in the Premier League.

 

The game was awful, despite Niassé putting Everton in front Swansea rallied in the second half and won the game 3-1. My analysis of the game was harsh on Everton, I picked out Ashley Williams, Phil Jagilelka and Romelu Lukaka for their poor performances but I really had a go out Ross Barkley who had a shocking game playing behind the front two.

 

As we sat in the green room after the show one of the runners walked in, “They’ve sacked Koeman” he said.

 

We all turned, shocked by the news, but for me it was the first opportunity that had truly interested me. Within the hour I was on the phone to my agent. “Get me an interview Chris” I said.

“Already on it” he replied, “your name has been mentioned, Di Mateo and Allardyce as well” he added.

 

“That corrupt fool” I added. When Sam had been sacked by England for his idiotic actions in the Daily Telegraph sting. I had said some strong things about him when interviews by Sky and his people had contacted me saying Sam was upset by my comments. Never mind.

 

Everton had an away game at Watford on New Years Eve, David Unsworth and Joe Royle put in temporary charge for that game. I asked Chris if I should go but he informed me that Everton wanted to meet the morning of the game, we arranged to meet at a hotel in Manchester.

 

We met with Bill Kenwright and his team of lawyers and three hours later I was manager of Everton Football Club, a two-year deal signed to start on Monday morning.

 

It had begun.


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